Now this is the life! Wild babies play as they should! Jade will never have this chance...


baby elephant in sanctuary

"a world of difference these orphans are given constant love and companionship by their caregivers and other baby elephants. Which would you choose.? "
(image © The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Orphan Project. Nairobi, Kenya.)

Jade - Little Elephant with Big Problems

jade medical record

St. Louis Zoo medical records stating that Jade was treated for injuries from Ellie and Rani.

The unnatural dynamics of captive life have resulted in abnormal behaviors. Shortly after the birth of her calf Jade in 2007, Rani rejected her. Calf rejection is generally unheard of in wild populations. However, it is prevalent in zoos, where female elephants do not have the chance to socialize normally and learn appropriate mothering behaviors.

In addition, in 2009 two-year-old Jade was stricken with the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV), an often-fatal disease that is seriously impacting Asian elephants in zoos in North America and Europe. The virus mainly strikes young Asian elephants and produces a hemorrhagic disease so lethal it has about a 90 percent mortality rate.

jadeIn a 2007 report on EEHV, IDA identified St. Louis Zoo as being at risk for the disease due to a number of factors, including the fact that the elephant Pearl had spent time at Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, a hot spot for the disease, where she conceived Raja. Five elephants born at Dickerson have contracted EEHV; four died. In addition, Rani, Jade’s mother, was treated in August 2001 for “potential endotheliotropic herpesvirus infection,” according to zoo records.

EEHV appears to primarily affect elephants in captivity, with many fatal cases reported in zoos and in circuses. Since 1998, the disease has killed close to 40 percent of the Asian elephants born in AZA-accredited zoos in North America. A similar outbreak has not been seen in wild Asian elephant populations. Yet zoos continue to breed captive elephants.

Fortunately, Jade survived after undergoing drastic veterinary measures, including a blood transfusion. Her half-sister, Maliha, was reported to have tested positive for the disease, but showed no symptoms